Abstract

We show that the introduction of a non-axially-symmetric optical component can significantly improve light collection in instruments that use off-axis integrated cavity output spectroscopy (OA-ICOS). OA-ICOS is a robust technique for field measurements of scarce trace gases, but the inherent skewness of its output makes light collection onto small detectors difficult. Here, we derive the constraining effect of skewness in OA-ICOS cavities with Herriott alignments, and show how this constraint can be overcome by the addition of a non-axially-symmetric optical component. We describe such a component consisting of eight ZnSe wedges designed for the OA-ICOS-based Chicago Water Isotope Spectrometer, and show that this component increases the instrument’s signal-to-noise ratio by a factor of three. The ratio of improvement is expected to be even larger in compact OA-ICOS instruments.

© 2018 Optical Society of America

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